SOFTWARE COBBLER Microsoft's Internet Explorer web browser has been revealed as the preferred weapon of choice for the mentally challenged.
Anecdotal evidence that suggests something has to be wrong with you if Internet Exporer is the web browser you use has been backed up with scientific evidence. Research conducted by Aptiquant, a firm that calls itself "a world leader in the field of online psychometric testing" found that out that, of over 100,000 surveyed individuals, those that used Microsoft's Internet Explorer web browsers had the lowest intelligence quotient (IQ) scores.
Microsoft's Internet Explorer 6, a browser so rubbish that Microsoft has taken to pleading with users to dump it, was found to be used by the dumbest people, with their average user IQ scores nudging just over 80. Curiously that has dropped from over 100, a very respectable IQ, five years ago. Internet Explorer 7 wasn't far behind in the dumb and dumber stakes with IE9 and IE8 rounding off the bottom four, failing to exceed 100 IQ points on average.
Interestingly, Firefox users had the lowest IQs of those who used the 'alternative' web browsers, though its users' average IQ has actually risen in the past five years. Perhaps Mozilla secretly wants that figure to fall as a sign that it is picking up Internet Explorer users, but then again this research tends to suggest that Internet Explorer users might find typing firefox.com and hitting enter a bit beyond their ability.
The figures got us thinking, just what does an IQ of around 80 mean? According to research papers, an IQ of between 70 and 85 is classified as "borderline intellectual functioning". Curiously that phrase, omitting 'intellectual', could be applied to Internet Explorer itself.
Google's Chrome and Apple's Safari all scored similarly to Firefox, with "IE with Chrome Frame" sitting ahead of the lot with an average user IQ of beyond 120. Mac-only Gecko browser Camino and Opera top the list. As a group, Opera users have either gotten smarter very quickly or they've practised doing IQ tests, as five years ago the average was hovering around the 100 point mark, yet in five years there has been 20 per cent growth. Even Darwin would be impressed by that pace of evolution.
Aptiquant concluded that users with lower IQs tend not to upgrade and said, "It is common knowledge, that Internet Explorer Versions to 6.0 to 8.0 are highly incompatible with modern web standards. In order to make websites work properly on these browsers, web developers have to spend a lot of unnecessary effort. This results in an extra financial strain on web projects, and has over the last decade cost millions of man-hours to IT companies. Now that we have a statistical pattern on the continuous usage of incompatible browsers, better steps can be taken to eradicate this nuisance." We assume the firm was referring to Internet Explorer, not its users, when it said "steps can be taken to eradicate this nuisance", but we can't be sure.
So while the research doesn't quite suggest that Internet Explorer users are a few sandwiches short of a picnic, it does suggest that their neurons do fire a bit slower up there. Of course all this leads to the inevitable argument of nature versus nurture, but at present we'll have to assume that Microsoft's products don't turn its users' brains into mush. At least no more so than they were when they started using the Vole's rather dumbed down, click-and-drool software.
Staff at The INQUIRER were instructed to take the IQ test to see where we fit into this IQ and web browser landscape, but sadly we all got lost on the way to it and wound up in a pub. µ
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